Thursday, October 22, 2015

31 Day Challenge 2015 Finisher Badges

I'm a bit late with the badges, but want to take the opportunity to congratulate those of you that finished the 31 Day Challenge this year! It's a huge accomplishment and you deserve to celebrate your success.

This year's badges are a modification of last year's, originally created by Ling Yeung. Grab one and display it on your blog with pride! I've included the HTML code below each badge, or you can save the image to your computer and upload it that way.

Click on the following links for higher-res versions of the badges that you can post to your feed.
Pink (White, Black) | Teal (WhiteBlack) | Purple (White, Black)

Like last year, if you haven't finished the challenge yet, feel free to bookmark this page and come back to it to grab one when you're done.

Congrats to all of you finishers!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wrought Iron Scrolls with the China Glaze Great Outdoors Collection

Wrought iron scrolls by @chalkboardnails

I've always thought that wrought iron scrolls and leaves in gates were so pretty. Putting together one of those gates seems like so much work, no? I went for the same look in this nail art, but with significantly less effort and expertise required.

Wrought iron scrolls by @chalkboardnails

I used China Glaze - Check Out the Silver Fox as the silver base. It went on beautifully and covered fully at two coats. I love these kind of "gritty" metallics that don't have a totally smooth finish; they tend to sparkle more in the light.

Then, I added the leaves and scrolls using China Glaze - Take a Hike. It's a really nice muted deep green that I can see myself using for a lot of nail art in the future.

The Great Outdoors collection is available now at Ulta and Sally Beauty, as well as in select salons nationwide.

Products in this post were provided for review.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

East Asia Meets The Southwest - Embellished Gel Nail Art

Southwest-inspired gel nail art by @chalkboardnails

I have been waiting for this day since the beginning of the challenge. Not only because it meant that I had successfully completed the gauntlet for the fifth (!!!) year in a row, but also because I had a manicure that I have been dying to recreate for a very long time.

This beauty of a manicure is completely inspired by 111NAIL salon in Japan. I love it SO much. I tried to copy it to the best of my ability (and materials) and I am beyond happy with the outcome. I just adore the aesthetic of Japanese nail art; it's always so refined and balanced.

Southwest-inspired gel nail art by @chalkboardnails

Since the challenge is now over, I decided to these in gel and on both hands so I can enjoy them for a while. Here are the products that I used:

Gelish - Hot Rod Red
Red Carpet Manicure - Sandal Scandal
Akzentz Gel Play in White and Black

Gold caviar beads
Triangle studs
Turquoise teardrop charm
Round gold frame

Akzentz Bling On (used to attach 3D embellishments)
Presto Top Gel (thick gel topcoat)
Gelish Foundation (go-to gel basecoat)

Southwest-inspired gel nail art by @chalkboardnails

These nails weren't hard to do at all; however, they were pretty time consuming.

The drag marble nails are my favorite part and are beyond easy, especially in gel. All you need to do is apply the colors in arced stripes, and then drag a clean striper brush through them to create the patterns. Cure the marbling in your lamp and you're set!

The other nails are basically just dots and embellishments, which I attached using Akzentz Bling On. It's a super strong, thick gel that grabs ahold of your charms or studs and helps keep them in place once cured. It made the process of placing the gold bits a lot easier, especially on a manicure like this with so many elements.

I made sure to finish with a thick gel topcoat to help smooth out the edges on the 3D pieces.

Southwest-inspired gel nail art by @chalkboardnails

If you have a moment, be sure to go give @111nail_omotesando a follow on Instagram, I have completely copied this manicure from them and there is so much more gorgeous work to be seen on that account.

Southwest-inspired gel nail art by @chalkboardnails

That's a wrap on the challenge for this year! Stay tuned for my 2015 roundup, and congratulations to those of you who have finished as well!

Previous nails I've honored: